I am getting my air conditioner fixed today and it reminded of something that may be useful to know. When you have someone come out to your house to repair anything (electric, plumbing, etc.) there are some questions that you should always ask. I learned this the hard way many years ago when I overpaid for some electrical work.
1. Trip Charges - ask what they charge for a trip charge. All companies charge something for travel time to and from a job or work site. You also need to know if they are going to charge you twice for a trip charge if they have to come back out a second time to finish or because they had to order parts.
2. Over Time - Not all companies charge overtime, but enough of them do. Always ask what their labor rates are and if they charge overtime. I always schedule service calls in the morning because a lot of companies will charge time and a half for any hours their employees work on the weekends or past 5:00 pm. This can be huge because most of the time the larger portion of the bill is labor. If someone is supposed to be there in the morning and they are running late and want to change the time to late afternoon I always make them reschedule for another day unless it is an emergency.
3. Warranty - check to see if what they repair is under warranty, either through the manufacturer or a home warranty. A lot of times the labor isn't covered under a warranty, but the parts might be.
I learned the hard way when I ended up with an electrical repair bill for $600 and $300 of it was overtime and extra trip charges.
Does anyone have any other good advice about service calls for everyone??